The Schools and Libraries Division has posted its latest update to the eligible services list, making some products eligible for support for the first time, but providing more restrictive definitions for others.
Among the notable changes in the Nov. 17 update are:
- For the first time, the SLD acknowledged that modems, modem cards and modem eliminators could be eligible for support, if they were used with, or in, eligible components of internal connections. Cable modems are also eligible if they are used to provide Internet access. But modems used with, or in, end-user equipment such as a desktop computer are not eligible.
- Video amplifiers and other video equipment "necessary to deliver video services to the classroom" were deemed eligible for support, as were video channel modulators, Enhanced Multimedia Interface, and Video CODEC. End-user video equipment, however, remains ineligible, as do monitors and video cameras.
- The SLD said that "components of internal connections that transform voice to Internet protocol for the purpose of voice over Internet telephony are not eligible for discount." Voice interface cards, such as FXO, E&M and FXS cards, that are components of routers or PBX systems that interface with internal systems and the public switched telephone network are eligible.
- Antennas as part of Wireless Local Area Networks are eligible if they are part of an eligible component. If the antenna is part of a Network Interface Card installed in a workstation, the cost must be allocated out of the funding request. Applicants were instructed to ask their service providers to identify the cost of the card functionality and to reduce their funding request by that amount. Antennas used for Wireless Wide Area Networks are eligible only if leased and used for Internet access. Wireless WANs used for the transmission of voice and data are eligible only if leased from an eligible telecommunications service provider.
- The SLD put in writing some tougher standards for some telecommunications services. It clarified that cellular, Personal Communications Services (PCS) and paging services are eligible when they are provided for use at a place of instruction and for educational purposes, but not for such personnel as maintenance personnel, facility directors and cafeteria officials, unless they provide instruction, or to bus drivers. It said phone lines for burglar or fire alarms were not eligible for support. In addition, it said that applicants requesting discounts for Centrex service would have to have technology plans in place because Centrex is not considered basic telephone service.
- The SLD added caching servers, DHCP servers and firewall servers to its list of servers that were not eligible for support. Anti-virus software was added to the list of application software that was ineligible for support. Caching servers owned by an Internet Service Provider to provide caching service in connection with Internet access are eligible for discount.
- Services such as web hosting, web site creation or domain name registration fees are eligible if bundled as part of Internet access with no separate charges associated.
- Cabinets are eligible if they house eligible equipment.
- Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs) are not eligible for support.
- On-site technical support is eligible only if it is a component of a maintenance agreement/contract for an eligible service or product. The agreement must specifically identify the eligible products or service covered by the contract.
- Extended or multi-year warranties must be prorated so only the portion of the warranty applicable to the current funding year is funded. If the warranty is included in the price of the equipment for all customers without a separately identified cost, proration is not required.
- Shipping charges are eligible when they involve the delivery of eligible services.
The full list is available in a downloadable PDF file at www.sl.universalservice.org/Reference/eligible.asp. Changes in the list since the previous version, which was dated Oct. 12, 2000, are highlighted in boldface. E-rate applicants would be advised to review the list carefully before submitting their Year 4 applications.